New Delhi, January 9: Suspicious packages were found in the Indian Consulate in Melbourne as well as other Embassies and Consulates in the Australian city on Wednesday afternoon leading to a brief evacuation in some of the diplomatic offices.
Police and emergency services responded to the information about the packages in ACT and VIC.
Reports say that the packages are being examined by the attending emergency services. It is not clear what the packages contain or who sent them.
According to Australian federal police, suspicious packages have also been delivered to Embassies and Consulates in the capital city of Canberra. But there was no report of any package in the Indian High Commission located there.
“Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to Embassies in Melbourne,” an Australian Federal Police statement said, adding, “The packages are being examined by attending emergency services.
“The circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated,” the statement read.
Diplomatic offices of Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and South Korea were among those where the suspicious packages were found. Hazardous material warnings were also shown near the Indonesian, Thai and Egyptian Embassies.
News.com.au reported that some of the events have subsequently been listed as “safe” and “under control”. Citing unverified reports, News.com.au reported that packages bore the words “asbestos” and “wear a mask”.
The Guardian reports that the Indian Consulate staff were evacuated for about 40 minutes and ordered not to talk to media.
Emergency workers wearing chemical suits were seen entering some of the buildings.
Tweets posted by Australian journalists showed the emergency response teams, including HAZMAT crew, entering or exiting some Consulates and Embassies. HAZMAT crew deal with hazardous thing such as radioactive, flammable, explosive, oxidizing, asphyxiating or bio-hazardous materials. (Courtesy: TS)